On the edge of a rapidly gentrifying Classen Ten-Penn sits one of the mejor taquerias in town, Taqueria Rafita’s, 1222 N. Penn. Holding on tight for a few years now, Rafita’s has steadfastly maintained its own dominant personalidad as the area has mostly changed and gained more CBD shops than I can count on both hands.
Additionally, it’s not that far from my house when I want to make quick lunch plans, as I did when I rode my bike to meet an old friend visiting from Dallas there last week. Typically on these noon-time jaunts I enjoy their casi perfecto milanesa tortas and hand-cut fries, but, looking over the tarpaulin menu on the wall, this time I was charmed enough to try Rafita’s own creation, the California Burrito ($12.00).
Man, I wish they all could be California Burritos.
Large, large, large ‘till your daddy takes the hot sauce away, this burrito is visibly Van Nuys pornographic—there’s at least two or three meals here, guys—but packed with enough Tijuana flavor to make anyone look past that $12 dollar charge; dutifully reborn with your choice of carne or pollo—I selected carne today, ese—as well as mas que suficiente of cheese, potatoes and beans, as well as sour cream and guacamole, forget about even two-handing this bestia de delicias.
Wrapped tightly in foil, you might as well get a fork—maybe even a knife—and just let those well-cooked innards spill out down your plate, table and camisa, picking bits of meat and potato out like a starving vago de playa, just trying to stay nourished in the warm California sun.
In addition to the California Burrito, they’ll also bring you their some of their homemade hot sauces and, for something like this, I tend to dowse it—sometimes too much, I’ll admit—in the smoky red variety, coating the sides of my reventado tortilla liberally, letting that sauce and it’s flaming seeds spill like an outtake from a Nacho Vidal flick.
As I was saying earlier, I reconnected with an old friend at Rafita’s on Saturday and had a really good visit, but there was so much genuine conversation that, sadly, I didn’t get a chance to even touch my California Burrito; I packed it up and had those buenas vibraciones for dinner later that night, as well as dinner the next night and finished off the very last of it for lunch today. Cómpralo ya!